inflatable boat

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November 11, 2003

Inflatable boat hull and deck designs

Zodiac's creative genius has led it to patent a great many of its products, accessories and exclusive models. For this reason, their brand has been chosen as our demonstration unit for this section.



The Flat Hull
This hull usually comes with a slatted floor, making for a light, quick to set up tender. Generally reserved for boats which don't need to plane or cover long distances.

The V-shaped Hull
Created by combining a rigid floor with an inflatable or wood keel. This hull design helps planing. Improves navigational stability.

The Futura Hull
Exclusive to Zodiac. Reserved for larger inflatable boats. Offers optimum handling, precision and comfort.


Floors - The floor influences total weight, time and ease of assembling

The H2P Floor
The fully inflatable boat concept reinvented by Zodiac: the inflatable H2P air-floor is made up of two layers of fabric held together by thousands of polyester cross-stitches; when inflated to high pressure this air cushion becomes as rigid as a traditional floor, but is much lighter and takes up less space. Soft to touch the H2P air-floor absorbs bumps and resists tears.
Developed by Zodiac, the only manufacturer to master its use on large boats, the H2P is fitted to models from 2.40 m to 4.70 m.

Roll-up Floor
If you envision a nomadic style of navigation, choose a boat where the floor can be left in place be it slats or an auto-rolling rigid floor or, the lightest and quickest of all, the H2P air-floor.

If you expect to set the boat up only several times a season, the traditional floor with strengthening rails is an excellent alternative. Choose between marine plywood or aluminum, particularly resistant to shocks, or a composite floor with its inherent lightness.

Assembly is quick and easy: just simply inflate. The whole boat fits in one bag: no lost fittings. The floor can be removed: easy maintenance.

A light boat; easy to launch: easy to pull ashore. Smaller outboards: exceptional performance. Tenders easy to pull on board: less strain on the davits.



Two Types of Decks
The fully equipped decks provide seating and maximize storage space, by using the area between the deck and the hull. Flat decks are for those who require free space to carry a maximum number of passengers or equipment, or for creating a customized layout.

The Hull is Fiberglass
Fitted with an inflatable buoyancy tube for added stability and safety. Particularly suited to intensive navigation on choppy water. A deep V ensures an easy ride in heavy seas. A progressive V planes quickly, even with heavy loads.


The Removable Tube System

A clever concept, for most of its semi-rigid models, the tube is equipped with a cuff that slides into a slot on the rigid hull.

To install it, slide the cuff starting from the bow into the built-in slot on each side of the rigid hull. Tightness is secured once the tube is inflated.

Entirely removable the tube can be disassembled and folded for maintenance, repair, storage and transportation.


About The Author:
T. Chevrier is a successful author and publisher of several online articles in the inflatable boat industry for

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